There are a lot of factors affecting the ever-increasing pressures that resulted to intense competition in the global outsourcing industry. New trends in business operation strategies, more interactive business relations among market players, as well as the customers’ increasing involvement in maintaining the quality of products and/or services continue to demand efficient and productive measures among outsourcing service providers.
Michael McBrien, Senior Vice President of Genesys’ APAC Field Operations, discussed the results of Accenture’s 2007 Global Consumer Survey at the G-Force APAC 2008 summit in Melbourne. The survey found that 33% of customers expect better customer service than they did a year ago and 44% cite poor customer service experience. Thanks to the internet customer demand has dramatically increased.
Customer loyalty is crucial in today’s world of economic uncertainties. With the credit crunch and the U.S. presidential election, the outsourcing industry faces a tough year. The Web may have increased customer demand but it may also be the next big thing in contact centers.
As Jason Stirling, Vice President of Genesys Australia, India and New Zealand, suggests “Instead of viewing contact centers as a cost, businesses could capitalize on relationship building and sales opportunities to transform the contact centre into a profit centre.” Stirling describes the need for a multi-channel approach to cater to the technology preferences of individual customers and highlighted the importance of supporting customers online. “I believe in two years, if we take a truly customer-centric approach, the Web is going to be our next contact centre. It’s time to really seriously consider opening the channel to the Web,” says Stirling.
In order to effectively execute any business plan or strategy, BPOs should determine and identify the resources available in the company. And the internet or the Web, as it is popularly known, is a readily available resource.
A survey conducted by Integ Communications found that nearly half of employers, especially contact center managers, plan to increase their workforce by hiring staff who will work from home. Integ’s research shows that home-based contact center agents will grow from 18% to 37% by 2010. This survey further proves the power of the Web and the abundant opportunities it has to offer for individuals and businesses alike.
Further, a recent study by Hackett Group, a global strategic advisory firm, compared BPOs from captive shared service centers and found that BPOs are challenged at driving innovation. “Innovation is one area where both BPOs and, to a lesser extent, captives have a significant opportunity to improve performance. Only 17% of all responding companies using BPOs said they were satisfied truly satisfied with their BPO’s ability to innovate. While a much larger percentage – 46% — of all companies using captives made the same claim, this is clearly an area that both types of organizations can target for investment,” says Hackett Globalization and Outsourcing Practice Leader Julio Ramirez.
The Web has indeed increased customer demand but it also offers numerous opportunities for outsourcing providers. Through the Web home-based contact centers emerged, and who knows Jason Stirling’s prediction of the Web being the next contact center might just be the future of BPOs.
Author: Kim G.